This is MAD #4. I read some place that Editor Harvey Kurtzman and Publisher Bill Gaines did not know how MAD did until MAD #4. It took that long for the sales reports to come back, or unsold comics returned, or however. At MAD #4 time they knew they had a hit on their hands.
Did they know before or after MAD #4 hit the press? It seems that MAD #4 seems a little bolder than previously, with stories attacking SUPERMAN and The SHADOW.
MAD #4 was the first MAD I was introduced to. I was in the 7th grade and I was with my family visiting my grandmother and I went next door to visit a school chum, Archie Richardson. In Archie’s bedroom he showed me a comicbook called MAD. I fell for the comicbook in a big way, and well, haven’t been the same since.
I quickly swooped up that issue and the three earlier issues and studying MAD and here I am many issues of MAD, HUMBUG, TRUMP, HELP, and ANNIE FANNY later.
The cover was by the editor Harvey Kurtzman. As usual, his cover illustration is a plug for one of the stories inside, in this case it was the last story: The SHADOW.
This is the letter page. Interesting one of the letters was by Larry Stark. Larry lived and breathed EC comics. I read someplace that he gave EC critiques so often they finally gave him a lifetime subscription….. unfortunately, EC’s lifetime wasn’t all that long after that.
SUPERDUPERMAN was illustrated by Wallace Wood. His detail work is always good and interesting…. Little bits of people here and there. This story was the first to put me into a MAD spin.
FLOB WAS A SLOB was illustrated by Jack Davis and was a poke at romance comics. It gave it an extra twist of lemon.
ROBIN HOOD was illustrated by John Severin. They took an old story and revived it.
THE SHADOW was illustrated by Will Elder. What can I can say? The art and little details are hilarious.